It is that time of the football year again. The time in which FIFA and it’s representatives make the illustrious 59 man short list for the coveted gold ball. We ask ourselves, what did players have to do in the past year to make this list?, who in FIFA votes them in and, in this case, how in the hell did some in our opinion players get missed out? and lastly, why do we even bother to take this to heart and why make this list when in the end and the past 7 years it has and by the looks of it, will forever be a two-man race? In all this we throw our anger at FIFA, Blatter, Platini and all involved because they are wasting our time and we are getting rounded up for nothing. Again FIFA and it’s body are really nothing for us, the football fans. Should we even bother?
Yesterday, Marca, Spanish sports Newspaper leaked the 59 man list and to say the least, surprising and it made us all kind of annoyed because yes, the players on that list deserve and not deserve but another player could have easily occupied their spot.
Claudio Bravo – Barcelona
Javier Mascherano – Barcelona
Andres Iniesta – Barcelona
Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Ivan Rakitic – Barcelona
Neymar – Barcelona
Luis Suarez – Barcelona
Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
Karim Benzema – Real Madrid
Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
Luka Modric – Real Madrid
James Rodriguez – Real Madrid
Toni Kroos – Real Madrid
Giorgio Chiellini – Juventus
Paul Pogba – Juventus
Alvaro Morata – Juventus
Arturo Vidal – Juventus/Bayern
Andrea Pirlo – Juventus/NYCFC
Carlos Tevez – Juventus/Boca
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern
Arjen Robben – Bayern
David Alaba – Bayern
Thomas Muller – Bayern
Manuel Neuer – Bayern
Wilfried Bony – Manchester City
Yaya Toure – Manchester City
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
Nicolas Otamendi – valencia/Manchester City
Kevin de Bruyne – Wolfsburg/Manchester City
Diego Costa – Chelsea
Willian – Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea
Eden Hazard – Chelsea
Edinson Cavani – PSG
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG
Javier Pastore – PSG
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
David de Gea – Manchester United
Memphis Depay – PSV/Manchester United
David Ospina – Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid
Jackson Martinez – Porto/Atletico Madrid
Carlos Bacca – Sevilla/AC Milan
Giovani dos Santos – Villarreal/LA Galaxy
Phillippe Coutinho – Liverpool
Son Heung-Min – Leverkusen/Tottenham
Christian Atsu – Everton/Bournemouth
Paolo Guerrero – Flamengo/Corinthians
Eduardo Vargas – QPR/Hoffenheim
Gary Medel – Inter
Harry Kane – Tottenham
Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon
Andres Guardado – PSV
Carlos Sanchez – River Plate
Andre Ayew – Marseille/Swansea
Massimo Luongo – Swindon/QPR
Shinji Okazaki – Mainz/Leicester
Should we be surprised that there are a total of 14 players from Spain and they are all from Barca and Real Madrid? 2 English players?, 2 Italians; Chiellini, Pirlo?, Wilfred Bony and, David Silva? David Ospina and not the immortal himself, Gianluigi Buffon who led Juventus to another Scudetto win AND Champions League final????! So i guess now you get as to why we get rounded up by FIFA’s antics.
It has been years since England have their golden boy, their poster child but ever since Harry Kane came onto the Premier League scene last year, playing 34 PL games, scoring 21 goals, EL played 9 games netting in 7, League Cup games 6 and scored 3. These stats thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/harry-kane/leistungsdaten/spieler/132098/plus/?saison=2014 directly show this 22-year-old is the ultimate centre forward. Having been put into this inaugural list is obviously a very proud moment in his career being put up into the same basket of the best in Europe. Now, let’s be honest, will he be in the next shortlist or even make it to Monaco for the presentation or even in the best XI? No. The harsh reality but what he can take away from this is the recognition and come to realise what he did last season was very, very impressive. The boy has what it takes to become the best CF in the game. He is only 22 and, from what we can expect is more of the same and seeing him more regularly on this list.
I did mention in the intro about, who makes these lists and what it takes to be on there and why some other players are more deserving when clearly others should be in their place.
The most notable absentee is as mentioned, Gianluigi Buffon. How? This is clearly not right. Juventus won their 33rd Scudetto last season, Buffon played 33 games, 20 goals conceded and 18 clean sheets, THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE campaign was impressive. Buffon literally led from the goal to head Juventus to the Champions League Final. Buffon played all 13 games conceding 10 goals and went 6 games without conceding, so tell me how he was not even on the list yet, no offence Arsenal fans, but Ospina was???
Ospina: 2014/15: 20 games 47 saves
In all the midst of anger i typed and a little bias at the fact i am a passionate Juventus fan, Ospina did not have the most prolific PL campaign but in the Copa Amercia 2015 he really showed then why he should be Arsenal’s no.1. A competition in which he played extremely well and maybe this is where he pushed his way into the 59 man list for the Balon D’or. We cannot forget (if you watched the CA) the Quarter Final against Argentina, the double save against Argentina. A game in which he literally saved Colombia from being heavily beaten. His double save against, Messi and Aguero, volley from Otamendi in the 6 yard box. With Ospina’s help Colombia finished goalless and the game went to penalties in which they lost 5-4.
South American players have a strong presence in this list also. The Copa America was again a very strong competition highlighting the quality of Chile, Colombia, Argentinean, Peruvian players.
Alexis Sanchez for me, was the best player in Europe last season. From moving from Barcelona and making the move to Arsenal, his stats speak for themselves.
Games played: 35
Total chances created: 79
And that is just for Arsenal.
In Chile’s triumphant win of the Copa America 2015, Alexis was involved in everything. His whole-hearted performances, goals, assists, passes were integral in their win. Sanchez in the final against Argentina was everywhere. The game ended both in normal time and extra-time 0-0 but boy did Sanchez have his chances. As it went to penalties, Sanchez stood up and took hold of the final PK to win Chile their first Copa America in 99 years. Sanchez opted to do what every football player would do in that moment. The Panenka. Vidal, Medel make up the Chileans in this list and they deserve every bit of it. South American players in this day and age, are all over the world, Europe and South America. Being overshadowed by the likes of Cavani, Neymar, Messi, the word needs to be out there about Peruvians like Guerrero, Vargas and the others because what they did in the Copa America was very impressive. Bolivia and Venezuela the same.
This argument will go on and we can all vouch our opinion but what is that worth when us, the fans do not get heard. All we can do is let this one go and move on….
Juventus had a remarkable 2014/15 campaign. Winning the league, Tim Cup and reaching the Champions League Final sadly being beaten by ‘that’ Barcelona team. In my opinion yes, Chiellini is a world-class CB and what how he played in both the league and CL was very impressive especially against Real Madrid both home and away legs. However, the other Italian player should be in his place. Leonardo Bonucci. Bonucci was integral last season. Passing, distribution, goals, tackles are second to none. Take nothing away from Chiellini but Bonucci should have been there alongside his teammate or in his position but again who are we to say anything.
In my honest opinion, the one man that should be in the top 3 should be Kevin De Bryune. What he did at Wolfsburg last season is really astonishing! Single handily finishing 2nd behind ‘that’ Bayern team is everything to go by.
Bundesliga: 34 games. 10 goals and 21 assists
Europa League: 11 games, 5 goals 5 assists
DFB-Pokal: 6 games, 1 goal, 2 assist
Total assists: 28
I have singled out a few players but i could have named a few for that matter. Highlighting the players i did was because i feel as though they deserve something for what they achieved. The only way i see KDB or another player on that list winning the Ballon D’or is if FIFA itself is bored just like we are, are bored to see the same winner or top 2 every year. Ronaldo & Messi. There is no denying these 2 are the best players in the world and also what they both have achieved individually and for their team is second to none but at the same time, overshadows the rest of the world and players in different positions that cannot compete or show their talents in another way. This 2 horse race will never finish as these 2 show no signs of slowing down or stopping. So before we even get January and even start to begin to only compare these 2 players we already know how it will end. Ronaldo or Messi will take this home and the only other trophy that will be heavily contested is the final XI if it not be overhauled by the 7 of Barcelona and the 7 of Real Madrid. Now, FIFA wouldn’t want to show any bias would they?